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Contact: Stacey Gilmour
WELCOME & APOLOGIES
Councillor Levy welcomed all attendees to the meeting.
The following substitution was noted: Councillor Joanne Laban for Councillor Edward Smith.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
To receive and consider a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the Portfolio Decision taken on Meridian Works Site One: Authority to sign key agreements to enable project delivery (Report No. 182).
The decision that has been called in was a Portfolio Decision taken on 5 February 2019 and included on the Publication of Decision List No: 49/18-19 (List Ref:3/49/18-19) issued on 5 February 2019.
It is proposed that consideration of the call-in be structured as follows:
· Brief outline of the reasons for the call-in by representative (s) of the members who have called in the decision
· Response to the reasons provided for the Call-in by a Cabinet Member responsible for taking the decision
· Debate by Overview and Scrutiny Committee and agreement of action to be taken
Please also see the Part 2 agenda
The Committee received a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the Portfolio decision taken on Meridian Works Site One: Authority to sign key agreements to enable project delivery (taken on 05/02/19).
NOTED that this report was considered in conjunction with the information in the part 2 agenda.
All discussion on this item took place in the part 2 section of the meeting.
To agree the minutes of the meeting held on the 31 January 2019.
AGREED the minutes of the OSC budget meeting held on 31/01/19 as a correct record.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
To note the dates of future meetings as follows:
· Tuesday 12 March 2019
· Tuesday 26 March 2019
· Thursday 11 April 2019
Please note, the business meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee will
be held on:
· Wednesday 3 April 2019
NOTED the dates of future meetings as follows:
• Monday 11 March 2019 to replace Tuesday 12 March 2019
• Tuesday 26 March 2019
• Thursday 11 April 2019
Please note, the business meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee will be held on:
• Wednesday 3 April 2019
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
Local Government Act 1972 excluding the press and public from the meeting
for the item of business listed in Part 2 of the agenda on the grounds that it
will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in those
paragraphs of Part 1 Schedule 12A to the Act (as amended by the Local
Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006), as are listed on
the agenda (Members are asked to refer to the Part 2 agenda).
Resolved in accordance with the principles of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the press and public from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of the Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006.
MERIDIAN WORKS SITE ONE: AUTHORITY TO SIGN KEY AGREEMENTS TO ENABLE PROJECT DELIVERY
Attached for consideration as part of the Call-in on this item, is the Part 2 Portfolio report considered as part of the decision made on the 5 February 2019.
The report should be read in conjunction with the Portfolio report attached at appendix 1 to the Call-in report on the Part 1 agenda.
(This document contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as amended).
Response to the reasons for Call-in.
Please see the Part 1 agenda.
The Committee received the information provided on the call-in report: Meridian Works Site One: Authority to sign key agreements to enable project delivery.
1. The information was considered in conjunction with the report on the part 1 agenda.
2. Councillor Smith set out the reasons for calling in the decision:
• The principle of why Building BloQs was selected for this project was questioned, and that there had not been a proper marketing process.
• The proposal to charge the company a lower than market rent did not comply with the Council’s Property Procedure Rules. The report was not clear enough about the difference between market rent and the subsidised rent proposed; about mitigation of financial risk; or proposals regarding potential for recoup of funds.
• There was insufficient information regarding the involvement of the Greater London Authority (GLA).
3. The response of Councillor Caliskan, Leader of the Council. She highlighted the following:
• The Meridian Water project was about jobs and industries as well as housing. The Meridian Works One project would nurture business in that area. Working with Building BloQs would bring in makers and creative entrepreneurs.
• The partnership terms with the GLA were agreed, and this solid relationship should give confidence to the Council.
4. Other issues highlighted by officers in support of the decision included:
• This project was prompted by the opportunity to receive a GLA grant to boost the local economy and provide jobs.
• As explained in the response, this was not a procurement, but was a property transaction.
• It had been appropriate to work with Building BloQs when bidding for the funding so as to meet the grant deadline and to put forward a compelling bid.
• The Council was supporting a local SME business by enabling its expansion at Meridian Water, and had been prudent in the structuring of the deal.
• The company had been diligent in their approach, and the Council was reassured by the information provided by them.
• Information was provided in respect of proposed rent to be charged as opposed to market rent.
• Clarification was provided regarding the agreement with ACAVA. It was confirmed they were artist studio providers
5. Members’ questions responded to by officers, including:
• Confirmation of legal advice, and the financial monitoring requirements throughout the process.
• Clarification of the terms and flexibility of the proposed lease.
• Confirmation that the capital costs for Building BloQs were largely for machinery.
6. The summing up by Councillor Smith that:
• Concerns remained in respect of this proposal with regard to financial risk to the Council, and with the proposal to charge the company a lower than market rent.
• Officers had advised that arrangements with ACAVA were not integral to entering the agreement with the GLA: this information had not been set out in the report.
• A stage had been reached where there were no further options, and the trajectory of this project was not a wise one ... view the full minutes text for item 991.